Saturday, November 29, 2008

This is my offering

My daughter and I discuss her assignments for her World Issues class. Her deep heart expresses itself through her choices: modern slavery, child soldiers, invisible victims of war in Northern Uganda, the ignored plight of the southern Sudanese. Two years before my other daughter did projects on the genocide in Rwanda, won acclaim for her film about the needs in Kenya, spent a Christmas in an orphanage in Kenya. This summer both daughters returned to their childhood home in Uganda, on their own, reconnecting with former playmates who today are successful, healthy and happy.

I continue to battle for professional and financial survival back in small town Ontario. Gone are my missionary days, when I was free to work without pay, create and carry through projects, help various poor friends, respond to needs on our doorstep. Even gone are the days of sitting by the bedside of the daughter of a friend dying of AIDS, through no fault of her own, weeping with her friends and family. I shall never forget the day I arrived at the home of another friend in time to see her shrivelled body placed in a rough wooden coffin. In four years she had gone from a bouncy vital laughing woman to a tiny shrunken drug crazed victim of AIDS. I didn't know the reason, but I saw the horror before my eyes.

In those days I felt connected to world issues. I lived among them and made my offering in these various ways.

Now I wonder how to do that. Yes, I support other missionaries, yes I helped my daughter adopt her own foster child, yes I am training to help people in the western world with their private agonies. I see misery and pain before my eyes every time I go supply teaching. What is my offering? I have been a Sunday school teacher and now a worship leader. I go to Worship conferences, not conferences on AIDS and world issues.

Now I have a little platform on this blog, and on my own personal blog. I have reflected much on God's gracious work in my own heart, His healing presence in my own life. Yes, it has blessed others. But what does it have to do with these huge world issues?

Each time I have attended Christian concerts with my daughters or worship conferences with famous worship leaders I have been so impressed at how they used their platform to address world issues. They themselves have not been able to serve as missionaries for long periods of time. Their calling is to lead worship, to write songs, to give glory to God through their music and words. But they have realized their power, and used it to point their audiences to these needs.

I was reminded again of that power when I found this video from one of my favourite worship bands, Third Day. I share it now with you. As we move into Advent, preparing for Christmas, it is indeed a fitting time to remember what is going on in the wider world, and do what we can, each day, through prayer, or whatever other means, to do our part, as God leads.

For me, today, on this platform, I give this offering.

6 comments:

Belinda said...

Dear Meg,
We followers of Jesus live in an opposite Kingdom, as seen by dear Ann Voskamp's shining a light on Whatever He Says, instead of encouraging her readers to vote for her own beautiful and blog filled with gifts of joy and hope. And so, today, what you feel is a meagre offering, may actually be the loaves and fishes that Jesus multiplies and feeds many souls with. May it be so!

I so love being his. Soli Deo Gloria!

Night Owl said...

Dear Meg,
What a powerful post!
I've always wanted to adopt a foster child - how did you go about doing this? I'm always a bit worried about the integrity of the organization. But if you trust an organization, I will as well - please let me know which you went through.
Also, good point about using our own talents to better the world. Each of us has something to give the world. That's why working together as a community is so important.
My parents don't get how my learning music can be "practical" in helping other people, or "changing" the world (in a small way of course). Music may not help people as directly as medical care can, but I think it does help in an indirect way, as your musical example has shown. For as long as we know music has played an important part in society too. I think what EVERY single person makes a HUGE difference. It doesn't really matter what you are doing, as long as you love what you're doing, believe that it's making a difference, and do it for God.
Thank you for the inspiration to continue on my path. :)
By the way, did you know that J.S. Bach wrote S.D.G., which stands for Solo Deo Gloria at the bottom of every single manuscript of music which he wrote. (Did you know that, Belinda? :O :)) I'm also doing that. :) Because 1) I want to write for God, and 2) Bach was a genius (I'll do whatever I can to be more like him :)).
Anyway, all that just to say thank you so much for this inspiring post! :)

Belinda said...

Dear Night Owl,
Yes, I did know about J.S. Bach writing S.D.G. on the bottom of his manuscripts and I found that so inspirational. What a silent testimony that simple act of giving all the glory to God is. And how wonderful that you are following in such amazing footsteps.

Meg said...

Thanks for the comments, Belinda, and it is very exciting what is happening, and I agree with you.

Night Owl, so glad this has been a blessing to you. Compassion International is the org. my daughter worked through and they are very good. Rebecca St. James and Brian Doerksen both promote them. They do very thorough work. I expect World Vision does too. WV is very big. You could check out their websites. Go with what feels best to you, and how God speaks to you, as he does about your music too. We must listen to our hearts, and to His still small voice, as you so well know.

Blessings on your choices and your journey!!

Night Owl said...

Thanks, Meg. I will check both out when I have a bit more time to do it thoroughly. :)
Belinda, how did you know about Bach doing that? I'm so surprised! :)

Belinda said...

Dear Night Owl,
I learned of it at a Christmas concert at Redeemer College in Ancaster a few years ago. I went to it because one of the people I work with had graduated from Redeemer and invited me to the concert. I loved discovering that this amazing musician laid his gift of music at the feet of God.